FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
Today we celebrate the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – our last Sunday in the season of summer. Autumn officially begins on Monday, September 23rd at 2:50am CDT. A season filled with tremendous beauty awaits us. As we mark this seasonal change, we continue our journey through Luke’s Gospel. Following last week’s reading from Chapter 15 (three stories of God’s mercy – the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Prodigal Son), we hear the parable of the Dishonest Steward. While we might expect the steward to be punished for squandering his master’s property, the master neither berates nor punishes him. Instead he praises him for acting prudently. The basis of the commendation is his clever way of thinking, his insight, his wisdom and prudence. In telling this parable, Jesus is not judging the steward’s honesty or dishonesty, but is comparing his resourcefulness to the lack of such daring on the part of his own disciples.
There is a story told of an elderly man being admitted to the local hospital for a medical procedure. As a part of the admission process, the clerk asked him if he had a religious preference. He replied, “I had always wanted to be a Catholic, but no one ever asked me before. You are the first.” A few weeks ago I mentioned that many of the adults who enter the Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) do so because someone else invited them to consider the Catholic faith.
Do you know someone who is searching for that something deeper in life that our faith can offer? Do you know someone who is looking for a church home where they are welcome and can belong? Do you know someone who may be coming to Mass already but has not taken any steps to become part of the Church? Perhaps all that any of these people need is an invitation to consider the Catholic faith. God can work through the invitation. We recently began a series of inquiry meetings at 11:00am in the Chapel Lower Level. Those meetings continue this week at 11:00am in the Chapel Lower Level. It is not too late to join this group. There are no costs or additional obligations. Perhaps all another person needs is an invitation to consider the Catholic faith. If you know someone who may be searching, please invite them to our Sunday morning meetings. If you would like additional information, please call Leonor Carvajal at 630-529-3045.
New beginnings and opportunities are certainly happening all around us. Many of our parish programs are either launching or are now in full swing. Our parish Grade School, Faith Formation classes, our spring Confirmation program, and our Junior High (7-8) Connect Youth Ministry 101 program are up and running. Thank you to all of our catechists and volunteers who make our education ministries possible. Our Monday evening Sacred Heart Prayer Group and the Tuesday evening Spanish Prayer group continue to meet, as well as additional prayer groups meeting throughout the week. It is great to know that we are remembered in so many prayers.
Adult Faith Formation groups are now meeting, including several Bible Study and Spirituality small groups as well as “Alpha for Catholics,” in both English (Thursday evenings) and Spanish (Wednesday evenings). RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) sessions are meeting, CCW has had their Welcome night and the Knights of Columbus have many projects planned, including this weekend’s Tootsie Roll drive. Our Music Ministry has our different choirs rehearsing. New opportunities are all around us. Please check out all of the additional opportunities printed in the rest of the bulletin.
Thank you to all who joined us last Monday evening for our discussion on Bishop Robert Barron’s Letter to a Suffering Church. In view of that meeting, I offer the following:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others. An awareness of Sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.”
PRAYER FOR OUR CHURCH – Joliet Diocesan Office of Divine Worship.
Heavenly Father, in every age, you have been our refuge. Yet again and still, we stand before you
asking for your protection on your Church. We place our Church in your hands, for without you we can do nothing. May Jesus, our High Priest and true compass, continue to lead her in every thought and action — to be an instrument of justice, a source of consolation, a sacrament of unity and a manifestation of your faithful covenant.
For the survivors of abuse and their families, pour out your healing and your peace.
For the leaders of your Church, pour out your Spirit to guide them and inspire their decisions.
For those who have followed your call to serve you and your people in holiness, sustain them by your grace.
For all the faithful who are searching for answers, embrace them with your love, restore their trust,
console them with your clear Gospel message, and renew them with your sacraments.
We ask this in the name of your Son and our Brother, through the Holy Spirit, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever. Amen.
May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy